Our Little Darlings News Blog

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Garden Contest Results

Hi everyone!  Sorry about the delay in posting the results.  I had this post mostly done Wednesday and then got interrupted and it's been open, half-done on my computer till this morning when I got a minute.  Our apologies again for the delay.  Laura and I both had unexpected things come up but we finally got the photos judged.  Here are all the photographs and at the bottom is the winner's name.  Everyone did a great job and the photos and stories were a delight to go through.  I'm sure you will all enjoy them!  

Entry 1, Pauline:

Spring is coming and Little Darling Rene'e is planning her flower garden. She has purchased flower seeds and planted them in seedling boxes.  The little seedlings are ready to transplant. Little Darling consults her gardening books and gets ready to prepare the garden bed. Soon she will have lovely flowers.

Entry 2, Joy:

My girls Samantha and Bessie Bell went out early to get started on their garden planting. Unfortunately, the garden plot has very thick weeds from all of the rain we have received this year in northern California. So, Samantha picked a bouquet of weeds of course. After a lot of work, the girls decided to take a break. Bessie Bell thinks that she will just buy her carrots this year although, I'm not so sure about Samantha. If either girl turns around and sees what is lurking behind them, I'm sure they will both be scrambling back inside quickly.

Entry 3, Kelly Selzle:

Aislin loves to help out in the garden. Lilacs are her favorite, but today we were potting herbs and veggies. Barefoot and enjoying the sunshine after all of the rain we had this spring.

Entry 4, Michele:

Pay attention now…. first we have to dig lots of little holes, and then we can plant the seeds and water our garden. Then soon, we’ll have fresh veggies to eat for dinner!

Entry 5, Michele:

I think over there would be a great place for your very first garden.  I’ll teach you how to dig the holes and plant the seeds, and later on, we can water the seedlings….. What? What did you say? WHAT is your naughty little brother up to now???

Entry 6: Carla

This first one is my Bentley who loves everything pooh.  shes playing the roll of rabbit.  Mr. rabbit thinks is her plants those little carrots back in the ground they will grow into those giant carrots he loves so much. although he hopes to sell a few so he can purchase a large jar of hunny , that's so when his pal Winnie comes to visit there will be a bit of something fer pooh to snack on..   

Entry 7: Carla

Mariah  as belle going about her morning tasks, as you can see she has gone to the bakers for her baguette, then on to her friends to borrow a new book to read.after that she suppose to spend the morning hoeing the lettuce beds..  but I think she has more reading planned instead..hum..

Laura and I both arrived at the same winner based on our points scoring system, although I have to say it was a hard choice.  And the winner is:

MICHELE with entry number 5.  We enjoyed the story and how well the photos fit with it.  Nice work!  Michele, please email me your address and I'll get your prize mailed out!

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Down to the wire

For a lot of you, it's already Tuesday as I write this.  That means you have not quite four full days to complete and send a photo of your entry to Elizabeth for the Little Darlings Plant a Garden contest.  We hope that many of you are waiting for the last minute rather than giving this a pass because it's not a swap or something similar.  Dianna formed this group with learning in mind.  What do you learn from a contest?  How about staging a photograph so that it's well lit and inviting?  How to make props from paper mache or clay?  Learning more about scale so that everything in your photo is truly the right size for your Little Darling?  I think it's evident by the scoring criteria that was provided in the initial announcement, we don't consider this a "fluff" activity.  We want you to have fun, but we want you to try to do something new, too, and learn from it.  And have you seen the prizes that Elizabeth made???  I think they are the best that we've had in a long time!  Unfortunately, only one person provided prizes this time, but they are truly something that is worth the work!

So, while four days is a short period of time, it is still doable to complete an entry for this contest.  Remember to send one (two at the most) original to this contest super duper photo(s) to Elizabeth on Friday, May 5.  What do you have to lose????


Moderator with Elizabeth

PS.  New members - there are references to the contest in the Announcements section.  If you can't find them, just send me an email and I'll let you know where they are and what you need to do.  Please try to enter this contest, even if you wish you could have had more time.  Many people do their best under pressure!  :)

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Reminder for Contest Entries

Janie would like to remind everyone that the photo contest for garden photos closes in just over a week.  If you are considering entering, please get your entries in.  Here are the rules: http://ourlittledarlings.ning.com/blog/trying-again-little-darling-how-does-your-garden-grow

Janie is modeling a dress and shoes that will be included in the prize in addition to this overall and t-shirt set (below shoes are not included):

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Well, it's official:  " Showing 1 to 50 of 700 Active Members"

Congratulations to Dianna for starting this group and YAY to us for forming this group, all 700 of us!!  I don't know about you, but I think this is impressive!  It's especially great because of how we get along with one another and share what we know - a bit of new, a question, a technique, etc.  Keep up the good work!!!!  Celebrate!!!!

laura and Elizabeth


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It's almost May!

We've had a TON of rain these past few months in Oregon, so poor Little Darling can't plant a garden yet!  But, she needs to get the work done by May 5 - and so do you!  Just a reminder that the Spring contest ends at that time, so get your photos in to Elizabeth by then and we will go through them using the judging criteria already posted by Elizabeth.  If you need a refresher, just look back for her post (I think it's in Announcements).  This is a reminder that there's just a few weeks left before the deadline!!!!!  Have fun and be sure to read the list we will use to judge the entries!!!!


Moderator with Elizabeth

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A letter from Dianna

I wrote to Dianna to ask her about the Keepsake Playmate.  I was totally wrong about it being vinyl.  Her letter provides an update on what she's been doing and about the Keepsake Playmates.

Hi Laura,

Would you believe we haven’t even seen the article yet?  I let my subscription laps.  I have had an extremely busy time since Christmas.  It’s been one project after the other.  After I worked on the article we had various projects to do relating the the next MDCC including  costuming the prototype for the souvenir doll and the centerpiece doll.  I decided to design the souvenir costume myself even though I am not very fast at designing costumes. I just love it! I am also working on a souvenir for a regional UFDC convention souvenir.  Meanwhile continuing to work on Little Darling orders.  A group of the artists were here the first week in March to work on our proposed workshop projects.   After they left it took me until now to finish the projects and clean up the mess that we made. I submitted the photos and the proposals to the MCDD board of directors last week.  We did have a lot of fun and I think we came up with some really fun ideas for the workshops. We all just love to have an excuse to craft something for our dolls.  I hope MDCC accepts our proposals.  Nelly and Maritza are continuing to work on the costume design for the centerpiece dolls.  

When I submitted the info for the Dolls article back in February, my plan was to create a page on Expressions web site so folks could order the kits and other supplies.  This is an idea I had a long time ago but it has been on the back burner.  The ad in the magazine gave me the incentive to do something with it.  Regretfully my time has been eaten up with these other deadlines so I didn’t get to it. The Keepsake Playmate page is the next major project on my list.  To answer your question I’m sorry to say that at the moment I don’t know where you can buy a finished Keepsake Playmate.  Our mold company, Expressions is selling the porcelain parts to make the doll.  We will soon be offering the bisque kits and all the other supplies. I have a forum on the DollCrafters ning group with a long video tutorial on how to paint the Keepsake Playmate with acrylic paints. My hope is that this will awaken some new interest in porcelain doll making since a doll crafter could make a doll without a kiln.  

Did you see the video on how to make the pose-able body on the Expressions site?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iFAEaerEMA I hope some doll makers will recognize this opportunity and make some of these 18 inch dolls.  They are so much fun because there are so many things available for that size doll.  It would be a wonderful project to do with a daughter or granddaughter.  There is bound to be a market for them too, among collectors.  I challenge anyone to do this.  I have made all the instructions available for anyone who is ambitious enough to try it.  And I think if there were a demand for the bisque-kits there are folks who have the molds and could make the parts. FYI there are quite a few different head molds available for different heads that would fit this body.  

I did renew my Dolls subscription and called the magazine to request a few extra copies.  

Now I am  going to work on the Keepsake Playmate order page.

Thanks for all your help.  

Warm regards,


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The first version of this post did not allow anyone to comment for some reason, so I'm trying again and hopefully it'll behave better this time!  Please also note the deadline change per request.

LITTLE DARLINGS PLANT A GARDEN Can you believe it? Spring is only a few weeks away. What does that mean for our Little Darlings? Planning and plotting and PLANTING their garden! The girls will have to get their gardening clothes on and "get down and dirty" with Earth's soil by May 5. To help them with their task, our group is going to have a contest with the theme of "Little Darlings Plant a Garden." There are a few requirements such as having at least one prop in your entry's photo, writing a story about it in less than 50 words, and sending in no more than 2 photos per entry. There is a maximum of 2 entries per person. Elizabeth and I will be the judges. We will use the scoring rubric (or chart) to judge the total number of points each entry receives. Here is how the entries will be judged:

Points per criteria = 1 (poor) 2 3 4 5 (best)

The underlined words indicate how each criteria will be judged. Some criteria have two separate underlines. They will receive two scores.
Maximum points: 50 (10 underlines x maximum score of 5 points each)

1. The entry demonstrates the theme.

2. Background looks realistic and not too busy or distracting.

3. Outfit is appropriate for the activity.

4. There is at least one (required) prop.

5. Props are appropriate and used correctly.

6. A Little Darling is the main figure in the display.

7. Words used in the story did not exceed the limit of 50 words.

8. Photograph(s) are well-lit and in focus (limit of two photographs per entry; photos should be resized to no more than 1000 pixels wide).

You need to send your photo or photos to Elizabeth Wood through this group by May5. She will collect them and then share them with me.
We will judge them separately, then Elizabeth and I will compare our notes and numbers to find the entry with the highest number of points. As of now, we have one prize, donated by Elizabeth. Any donations of prizes will be greatly appreciated! If you plan on donating a prize, please let me know at laurasey@wavecable.com or through the group. If you have any questions or concerns, please also send those to me. The main thing is to HAVE FUN with this!!!!!!! and WELCOME SPRING!!!! (none too soon if you ask me!).
Moderator with Elizabeth

Here's a photo of the prize outfit. It's a pair of overalls (my design) and t-shirt from a pattern by Becky Colvin. I will also include some sneakers or boots and possibly a few more pieces to go with it provided I have time to make more. I will re-photograph as we go along and I add things to it. Chloe Grace is modeling and not included, sorry. :) Hope you all can come up with a cute gardening scene! (Elizabeth)

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News from Dianna

News report: We have just received a small shipment of LD #1s in a darker flesh tone as well as the usual shipment of #1s. Some of the artists have had the dolls shipped to them already. Some came to the studio last weekend to collect their #1s. We had run out of #1s and were anxiously awaiting this shipment. Nelly Valentino flew in from Georgia to work on a project. We spent the week working on the costume design for the centerpiece doll to be presented at a MDCC meal event. Joyce Mathews was planning to come too but was unable due to a last minute attack of the flu. Lana Dobbs, Pat Green and Gwen Peard spent one full day play/working with us. We teamed up on some projects to be offered as workshops at the MDCC. We made eyeglasses, decorated head bands and tried out Nellies new hat forms. We had more fun than humans should be allowed to have. Here’s Nelly, Lana, Gwen’s back and Pat.

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Question for our international members

Hi all.  Laura and I talked a while back about the possibility of creating some sub-groups for those of you who are non-English speakers to discuss the dolls here in your own language.  I would like to ask if there is interest in this?  If the answer is yes, we can create a few groups in the "Groups" section above for each country.  I know, for example, that we have a sizable membership from Russia and also from France.  Since neither Laura nor I speak these languages fluently (I can read and speak a little French only), if we do want to proceed with this idea, I would ask for a bilingual volunteer to serve as a moderator of these subgroups and any questions or concerns that arose could then be passed up to me or Laura by this moderator.  Any thoughts?  Input?  Ideas?

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Poll from Dianna about arms on our dolls


Please check out this poll.  The artists would like our input as collectors on the arms on the Little Darlings.  For those of you belonging to Facebook groups about the dolls, can you please share the link there, too?  And for those of you that are internationally located, can you share the link on your international doll groups?

Have a great afternoon!


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Swap: Christmas Through the Decades Signup Open


Hi all.  Please visit that link and read over the ground rules and send me your information.  I'll leave the signup period open for a week or two and then send you a partner by email.  You will need to email me the requested information in order to join.

It sounds like we will have tons of fun, as usual.  If you've never swapped, and want to participate, please don't hesitate. It's so much fun and I will help you with any questions you have.  :)

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Holiday Swap 2016

Hiya, everybody.  Happy Sunday to all.

Over in the discussion forum, we have been talking about having a Christmas or Holiday swap here on the group for this year.  There seems to be a lot of interest in having one, as they are so much fun for everyone!  I made a survey to help us decide on a theme, and also to help iron out the question of monetary limits (or not) on our swap for this year.  Here's the survey link:


Basically, there are two main questions.  One is whether we want to have one swap theme with two monetary limits (one subgroup with unlimited dollar amount, one subgroup with something like $25 - 40) or whether we want to have two entirely separate swaps, each with a different theme and with one being an unlimited swap and the other having a fixed dollar limit. 

The second question is about theme.  I put all the ideas that were suggested into a ranking and you can rank them by which is your favorite.

And lastly, there is a comment box for you to suggest other ideas.


Basic swap info for everyone:

For swaps, once a theme and dollar limit (or not) are decided, I will open up a signup period for a week or two and you will send me your information.  After the signup period closes, I will take the group of people (or groups) and assign each person a partner.  I usually assign in a round-robin type fashion, meaning that if you get someone's name, they likely do NOT have your  name.  This keeps everything a surprise.  We set a particular deadline that the swap has to be mailed by, and a rule of participation is that you have to photograph the swap once it arrives and show it off here.  I usually create a little group here (everyone can view it, even if they are not swapping) so we can discuss our swaps and then share photos when it arrives.  I personally find the swaps oodles of fun and it gives me something to open around the holidays that is something I truly want and pertains to my favorite hobby.  :)

For those of you new to swapping, here are our basic swap rules:


And here is a link to last year's swap to see what we did then: 


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Elementary, My Dears or GET to Know Me!

What in the world does all that mean? Well.............. remember when there was a discussion among a few of our members about dressing our Little Darlings to look like we did when we were younger? Those who went to elementary school in the 1960's would dress their doll with clothes that represent how the member looked while attending elementary school. Even though the styles may have been more fun for older children or young adults, our girls are really elementary level students, so they would dress like the younger children of that time. You can purchase, make, borrow, etc., clothes to complete the look. And don't forget the hair styles of the time(if you need to use a wig that is a different color than yours was, that's fine). Elementary school level will include grades K - 5 for our purposes. So, what does this have to do with GET to know me????

Well, our group is gaining members - at least one a week, sometimes several a day! In an effort to introduce ourselves to one another, we'd like you to take a photo of your "little you" - your doll dressed the way you did - and write up a little information, for example: name, date or era, school, location. Please send both the photo and description to me: through the group or at laurasey@wavecable.com and I will post them in the best location that Elizabeth and I think will be best for viewing. We want this to be a way of introducing ourselves to our new and long time members, so have some fun with it! Take the photo in front of your old school if you can. Have some props, if you want. This is not a contest and there are no rules about whether or not you sewed, crocheted, knitted, bought, etc., your outfit. Just try to make it as close to the type of clothing you would wear when you were 5 -9 years old. Remember those cool shoes, that perm your mom gave you, etc. Have fun with it!!

Deadline for your picture and description has been extended to: September 9, 2016.

Alternatively, you can add photos yourself here: http://ourlittledarlings.ning.com/photos/Elementary+School+Outfits.  Be sure to choose the "Elementary School Outfits" category when you post, and add your information in the description box.  Or feel free to email them if you'd like and we can post them.

If anything changes about sending the photos to me, I will let you know. Until then, we'll just continue as described above. Hopefully, this will give us a little more of an idea about each other in a fun way! You should not send a picture of you as you look today. I hope each member really tries to participate in this getting acquainted activity! As always, if you have a question, send me an email through this group or at laurasey@wavecable.com. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!

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Spring Fling Winners

And here are our winners!  First place goes to:

#6 Carolyn Tunnell

Second place goes to #7 also Carolyn Tunnell

And third goes to #3, Mimi James!

Here's the link to the original contest if anyone wants to review the lovely photos in their entirety!


Congrats, ladies, and thanks to everyone for submitting lovely photographs!  Carolyn, please contact me with your selection of two of the three prizes available, and then the remaining one will go to Mimi James!  

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Spring Fling Contest!

Here are all of our gorgeous entries for our Spring Fling contest!  VOTING NOW CLOSED  The polling link will be active for a week.  I'll close it next weekend.  Please be honest and only vote if you are a member here and only vote once!

Entry 1

Entry 2

Entry 3

Entry 4

Entry 5

Entry 6

Entry 7

Entry 8

Entry 9

Entry 10

Entry 11

Entry 12

Entry 13

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Spring Fling Photo Contest!

Hi everyone, we need a springtime activity, so Laura and I propose a Spring Fling Photo Contest!  Interpret the theme however you choose.  Show us how your Little Darlings celebrate springtime!  Each entry should feature at least one Little Darling.  You may submit a maximum of 2 entries per person, with a maximum of 2 photos per entry, by April 25th at midnight EST.  Winners will be chosen by popular vote and voting will occur the week after the contest closes.  I will provide a prize (TBA).  Entries should be emailed to me at elizabeth.r.wood@gmail.com by the closing date of the contest.  If anyone else wishes to donate something as a prize, please email me, as well.  Questions?  Ask them below!  :)


Archana has offered a decorated straw hat.  Here's the photo.  It's just breath-taking!

Elizabeth (me) will donate an outfit and matching shoes (shoes from a kit by Sissy):

Diana Sexton has donated this outfit:

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